Is a DIY Solar Power Really an Alternative?

The short answer is absolutely yes! There are many good reasons to build your own solar power systems and you can save money by building many parts of the system yourself. It’s a fun and rewarding experience to begin using clean renewable energy and the systems you build can generate useful quantities of power and begin supplementing your electricity bill immediately.

DIY solar power may be easier than you think. There are no specialist skills involved and by following proven plans you can get started today building your own system. Apart from the solar cells themselves all the materials are commonly available, relatively inexpensive and easy to work with. Solar cells can be obtained for good prices by seeking out factory seconds and cells with minor blemishes.

Many people are OK about the physical construction of the panels and it’s sometimes a perceived lack of electrical or electronic skills that prevent them from getting started. The electronic skills required when you begin may seem a little daunting at first but really there are just a few simple principles to learn to understand solar power.

It’s necessary to understand the concepts of voltage, current and resistance and how these relate to power. These quantities are tied together by a simple relationship known as Ohm’s Law. There are many straightforward tutorials available on Ohm’s Law and a gaining this simple knowledge will be time well spent.

Another electronics skill which is very useful to have is soldering, as this is generally how the solar cells in a panel are connected together. If you have not soldered before you will find that it is an easy skill to learn and with a little guidance on selecting the right soldering iron it is just a matter of getting your feet wet and practicing.

Probably the single most important consideration when building your DIY solar power system is finding the right plans and guidance. You should feel comfortable with the instructor and be sure the designs are proven and include everything you need to complete your successful solar energy project.